Friday, April 17, 2009

Uphill to Church Lawton.

We were idle yesterday, and stayed put rather than face the still brisk breeze. Showers were forecast all day as well, but we should have learned by now to take no notice of the weatherman; we did have a drop of rain, but nothing of any consequence.

It was cool but bright as we got away this morning, into the first lock after 10 minutes.

Lock 58 and the M6 behind.

We were following another boat for a bit, so had to reset the locks, but after a while we had boats coming down, so the going was easier.

I even had time for a brew while Lock 56 was filling!
Not far from Chell’s aqueduct there’s another very young duck family. Seven this time.
The locks on this section were duplicated to ease congestion, and most of those climbed today had both chambers available.
But some are beyond reinstatement.

Lock 54 near Thurlwood. The right hand chamber has long since been filled in.
Lock 47, southern chamber.

Church Locks are the last 2 we climbed today. We met NB Pavo coming down, and swapped locks with him.

Church Locks.
There was no-one else on the moorings at Church Lawton when we arrived, but I suppose it was a little early for most folk to finish for the day. It was only just after midday.
I always enjoy this section of the Trent and Mersey. The locks are often close enough to walk between to stretch your legs, but then there are a couple of 10 or 15 minute long pounds where you can catch a quick cup of tea. And the canal rises through a mixture of open farmland, wooded bits and canalside properties. The locks are easy to use, especially now since some gates were replaced during the winter stoppages.

The overcast start led to a warm sunny afternoon. I made a couple of fender hangers to replace my earlier attempt.

The first ones were made from a beech plank, and split along the grain when stressed. The new ones are ¾” ply, so won’t have the same problem.

New fender hooks. One of the old ones, split, is in the middle.
These hang off the roof rail when needed, and can be positioned where required.

Following the oil spill in the Lower Peak forest Canal earlier in the year, I see we’ve another pollution incident in the Shropshire Union, at the southern end. The stretch that appears to be affected is nearly 8 miles long, the distance between the locks at Autherley and Wheaton Aston. The EA haven’t closed the navigation, as yet.

From Waterscape's email alerts -

Advice Notice - Pollution incident at Autherly[sic] Junction Stop Lock to Wheaton Aston Lock, Friday 17 April 2009 until further notice

As the result of a contaminate entering the water course at the above location there has been a significant fish kill along this length of waterway. British Waterways staff are working with the Environment Agency and Severn Trent Water Authority to establish the source of the contamination.
Staff will be working through out the weekend on the clean up of dead fish stock and to prevent the pollution from spreading further. At the present time there are no restrictions to navigation but there may be limited short term restrictions during the clean up operation.
We apologies for any inconvenience caused by this work and ask for your continued cooperation during this operation.

Enquiries: 01606 723800

More stoppages on this waterway:

You can find all stoppages at the url below:

Locks 12, miles 3½

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